Friday, February 11, 2011

To Explain My Absence

I may be away for a while. I was looking forward to really diving back in after my trip, but I came home to a sick kitty who has since died, and I am kind of a wreck, and will be for a while, I assume.
We start moving on Tuesday, so that's another factor. I'll be here, I just don't know when.

Monday, February 7, 2011

#14 Djarum Internationals Tin

Originally uploaded by PackRatty McRatterson

This was given to me in 1999 by a co-worker, along with the 6 remaining cigarettes. Since I was underage, it was a pretty big deal. We were both silly, weird, artsy types, we both loved ugly vintage things. Losing touch with her is one of the only reasons I ever regretted quitting that job.

I saw her a couple years ago at Salvation Army. I recognized her immediately, and I practically ran over to say hello. Then, as I approached, I overheard part of her cell phone conversation. She was swearing a lot, complaining about the cops, and how she already had to go to court for a number of charges from what sounded like several separate incidents. As I got closer, she looked more and more tired, and more and more ragged, and it seemed like she just hadn't smiled or laughed in a long while. She smelled like a bar. I snuck away before she had even noticed my approach.

I still don't know if it would have been cruel or kind to say hello. I didn't know if it would have made her happy or sad to see me, to acknowledge the passage of 10 years, and the changes they brought.

Friday, February 4, 2011

#13 Plastic Truck

Originally uploaded by PackRatty McRatterson

I have often said that it is so much easier to make friends when you're a kid because you can just walk up to the sand box, sit down, and usually end up making a friend. You show up with a cool new truck or something, and everyone wants to talk to you.

When I moved to Oshkosh, I only had a few friends, and it was very difficult for me to reach out. I met this really cool guy at work, who seemed like a total nerd, and he seemed smart and kind, and I wanted to be his friend. But, I am shy. So I never really talked to him. Scheduling a "play date" with another grownup is awkward.

One day, we were the only people outside on break, and he handed me some chalk and asked if I would trace a chalk line around him, dead-body style. I did a really poor job. But still, we seemed like we'd mesh as friends. Somehow, he found my LJ, and read my entry about friends and sandboxes.

The first time we hung out, he showed up with two plastic trucks, and took me to the playground to play in the sand.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

#12 Hemp Bracelet

Originally uploaded by PackRatty McRatterson

Robbie was a regular at the Blue Moon. He was always drawing pictures and he had a ridiculous brown hat. He was usually the first friendly face I'd run into when I came into town. He was the first person I ever had a conversation with at the Moon. It was about Cat Stevens.

One weekend, Robbie wasn't there. Rumor was that he had thrown all his possessions off a cliff and had gone to do a long-term missionary trip in Tibet. Such an odd, grandiose story! Probably all lies. But he was gone for a loooong time.

One night, Robbie Showed up out of the blue with his guitar and kick drum. When his set came up, he proceeded to play and play and nobody minded. He played for a half hour after the shop was officially closed. Everyone was teary. It was the most honest I had ever seen him play. At one point, a boy walked up to him and said he wanted Robbie to have something, that it was all he could give to thank him.

I never did get the real story from Robbie. But he did pass the boy's gift on to me, saying he was allergic to hemp.